Republic’s promised “Super Saturday” with Arnab Goswami kick-started today (6 May) with an exposé on the Rashtriya Janata Dal chief Lalu Prasad Yadav. The channel aired the tape of a conversation between the former Bihar chief minister and “mafia don” Shahabuddin where the latter is heard passing on instructions to Lalu. The criminal-turned-politician is heard saying “that SP (Superintendent of Police) is finished” (Khatam hai bhai aapka SP) after enquiring about police action in Siwan and specifically asking for the removal of “all of them”. At the end of the call, Lalu is heard telling one of his aides, “Call that SP” (Lagao to SP ko).
Republic’s first exposé captures the nexus that many have come to know exists in Indian politics but not often experienced straight up. If you think of it, the media had not really covered a big story such as this since Goswami left Times Now. Perhaps the media had gotten complacent. But the Republic chief seems to be setting the terms yet again for TV news media.
The tape, though, is a searing indictment of Lalu, who even harboured prime ministerial ambitions once. The pressure on him will certainly mount. Chief Minister Nitish Kumar, who is formally allied with Lalu, is scheduled for an interview with the channel tomorrow (7 May) night. Will Kumar make the interview now that this tape has come out in the open or will he pass?
(Full transcript of the tape on Republic)
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